Sprucing up a Summer Space

Now that Memorial Day has officially passed, many will be making the weekly Friday night trek to weekend homes and seasonal rentals. Summer is the time to entertain with ease and having a place looking casually chic is the name of the game. I had planned on doing a post about ways to personalize summer spaces but happily, the theme of this month’s House Beautiful is “Quick Changes” and is chock full of appealing ideas. Of course if you’re renting, don’t forget to check first with your landlord to find out what is allowed.

The piece on Ken Fulk‘s charming Provincetown house includes 5 handy ideas to “create a sense of time and place.” The first suggestion is to paint an accent wall as he did so effectively above. It serves as the perfect backdrop for the season’s omnipresent green in the painting and on the painted chair (another handy trick – a quick coat of white paint gives any flea market find instant summer freshness).

Idea number two is simplifying with white slipcovers. While not everyone can afford to do this in a rental, it’s a great way to neutralize a space for a summer scenario and even better if they are removable and machine washable. Some places sell shabby chic one-size-fits-all versions that can be adapted to many existing pieces. You can then customize with inexpensive accessories – think pillows and throws – lending your space instant personalization.

Frame and hang a collection – a no brainer!! Pick a theme and hit local flea markets and tag sales to create a unified grouping. You’d be surprised how well everything works together when it’s all of like-minded subjects – choose dog or portrait paintings like Fulk did below or sailboats, flowers or any other theme that relates to your location!

The easiest way to brighten up a bedroom is with lively bedding – so mix and match to create a colorful statement. This handsome room is completed with sophisticated John Robshaw selections but you could easily find some fun summer prints for less – don’t forget to check out the seasonal flash sales online!

Many advocate adding an antique to every room to ground it and give a little gravitas. Suggestion number 5 of putting an antique in the bathroom is a perfect character building exercise. If you have room, add a charming chair or small table – it doesn’t have to have provenance – just charisma! And if not, then art work is always the answer!

The photos from the piece were taken by the talented Ngoc Minh Ngo for House Beautiful. And I was pleased to discover that there is a little video she produced of the project for the website – enjoy!

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